More Detailed Animal Studies Requested

More Detailed Animal Studies Requested

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More Detailed Animal Studies Requested

 

On October 10, 2012, the National Institutes of Health announced recommendations to improve routine animal studies.  Animal testing receives a huge degree of debate from animal rights communities, but NIH continues to stress that animal testing can lead to live-saving drugs that are used for cancer, strokes, heart disease, diabetes, HIV-AIDS, and more.  
 
However, NIH does conclude animal studies can obtain more positive results with some key changes.  
 
The NIH has announced the need for improvements in the following areas of research methodology: 
 
Randomization: when animals are randomly assigned to a treatment or control group
Blinding: when the researchers are unaware if the animals have received the treatment or are in the control group
Sample Size Estimation: when the researchers calculate—before the experiment—the smallest number of animals needed to note difference between other groups
Data Handling: analyzing outlier data, which occurs when, for example, 1 animal out of group responded different to the drugs
 
NIH announced the need for reform within animal testing at a workshop in Washington, D.C. on June 20-21.  Journal Editors from Nature, American Medical Association, Nature Neuroscience, Neurology, and Science Translational Medicine attended the event along with medical researchers and other people in the medical field.  
 
Shai Silberberg, Ph.D., a program director for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), stated: “The goal of the workshop recommendations is to improve the quality of scientific reporting through a shared effort.  Achieving a meaningful change will require the cooperation of funding agencies, journal editors and investigators, including those who volunteer their time to receive scientific manuscripts and grant applications.” 
 
The NINDS has already launched initiatives to use the recommendations.  The Institute’s mission is to decrease the destructiveness of neurological disease in every age group of society and all over the world.  
 
Source: National Institutes of Health

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